WEST PITTSTON – When the offense was still struggling to get moving in the first half, Wyoming Area relied on its defense to stop Nanticoke inside the 10 twice, preserving a one-touchdown lead.
After celebrating the program’s history at halftime, the Warriors came out in the second half Friday night and continued building on making 2018 a special season.
Wyoming Area got its ground game moving to score twice in the first 8:38 of the second half and two more times in the final 4:39 of the game while pulling away for a 35-7 victory over visiting Nanticoke at Anthony “Jake” Sobeski Stadium.
The Warriors protected their 7-0, second-quarter lead by stopping the Trojans on fourth-and-goal from the 2, then holding again at the 7 on the next drive, leading to a missed field goal attempt.
“The defense was stout when we really needed it to be,” Wyoming Area coach Randy Spencer said. “We got a couple short-field stops and that was really important because, give credit to Nanticoke, they came in, played hard, stayed in the game and game themselves an opportunity.”
Nanticoke ran 10 second-quarter plays that started or ended inside the 10, without ever reaching the end zone.
Corey Mruk led the defensive effort during those stands, but Matt Wycoski, Dimitri Depietro, Dominic DeLuca, Derek Ambrosino, Darren Rodney, Dante Bovani and James Gashi all got involved in at least two of the stops during the biggest sequence of the 4-0 season so far for the Wyoming Area defense.
Wyoming Area also had an early threat stopped.
The Warriors got as close as the 3 in their first possession of the game before a pass on fourth-and-goal was dropped in the end zone.
Wyoming Area scored on its next drive when freshman fullback Nick Elko ran it in from the 1, one play after his 26-yard run.
The Warriors stalled there. Pinned in their own end of the field, they managed just two yards of offense in the second quarter.
The second half had an entirely different look.
Wyoming Area racked up statistical advantages of 12-2 in first downs, 191-81 in rushing yards, 42-0 in passing yards, 233-81 in total offense and 17:10-8:50 in time of possession over the final two quarters while breaking the game open.
Mruk ran 37 yards and Rodney went 13 for touchdowns and a 21-0, third-quarter lead.
Colby Butcynski followed up a 44-yard scramble with a 34-yard touchdown for the only Nanticoke offense of the second half, making it 21-7 going to the fourth quarter.
DeLuca added touchdowns of 26 and 4 yards and Aleah Kranson tacked on the last two of her five extra points to close the scoring.
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